We started 2016 focusing on how we can each experience true Freedom in Christ and experience the abundant life God has intended for each of us. Then we dove into James' letter that spells out how we can best live out our Faith in action. Our Faith actually Works if we're willing to participate with God's design.
As we move into August, it's time to consider how we can best share the Good News with our community. Instead of just going to church, it's time to BE the church. And I believe that we are most effective in being Good News people when we bring Good News in the form of intentional acts of kindness done in Jesus' name.
We'll be looking at what Jesus has said about us: we are to be artesian springs of refreshing water, the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. What does that mean as we go about living here in the Methow Valley?
On Sunday, August 21st, we're going to put this into practice in a radical way. On that morning we will NOT be gathering within our building -- we will be GOING to serve our community. And we won't be doing this alone: Cascade Bible Church will be serving right alongside us! Later that day we'll all gather for a picnic potluck to share stories and celebrate God's love.
More details will be coming, but for now we'd like your help in our preparations:
Some social scientists conducted an experiment about delayed gratification involving children and marshmallows. Perhaps you've seen the video, but here it is for your enjoyment:
It's soooo hard to wait for something good! As the saying goes, "a watched pot never boils" - or at least it seems that way!
It's all the more difficult to wait for relief when you're in the midst of suffering. So what are we supposed to do? James continues to give us practical advice and instructions in chapter 5, verses 7-11. That's what we'll be looking at this coming Sunday, July 17th: how Faith Works with Patience. I hope you'll be able to join us.
I have a friend who grew up in the African country of Zimbabwe. A few years ago he showed me a $1,000,000,000 bill! I was impressed until he told me that it was nearly worthless.
In 2009 the Royal Bank of Zimbabwe made the decision to eliminate 12 zeros from their money - essentially resetting their currency to Z$1, Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$50, Z$100 and Z$500. I'm sure that this move helped some, but I just looked up the current exchange rate. As of today, July 7th, $1 Zimbabwean dollar will get you 0.0002 of a US dollar. In other words, you need $5 to equal a penny.
Zimbabwe is not the only economy to go through this kind of financial struggle. Investments don't always provide a return. Economies and stock markets go up and down. I've heard some people tell me that the US economy will collapse within the next year. But who's to know?
Where do you find your security? What do you find yourself pursuing above all else? Jesus said,
"Wherever your treasure is,
James chapter 5 begins with some pointed and rather harsh words for those who have made their focus on earthly treasure. It's tempting for me to simply skip through this passage thinking that it doesn't apply to me. But I'm sure that my income would seem pretty high in comparison to most people in the world - especially a Zimbabwean!
I hope you'll be able to join us this Sunday, July 10th, as we consider together what God wants us to hear and apply from this passage.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church